I barely slept last night. I kept waking up and wondering, what am I going to post on the Best American Poetry blog? I never should have accepted the guest blogging assignment; now everybody is going to know what a fraud I am, how incapable I am of saying anything new or relevant about poetry. I mean, when was the last time I even wrote a poem, anyway? Unless you count the many stupid songs I sing to my cat, Minky, songs that invariably rhyme Minky with stinky, and mention his tongue so pink-y, as well as his habit of climbing into the sink-y to get a drink-y. But that's not poetry, that's doggerel, or catteral, at best. God, this is already a failure. I'm a disgrace. I bet Lehman's going to yank my poem from the Erotic Poems anthology; he's just going to go around town ripping the page from the book. You wrote a fucking poem to your cat? I...I tried to think of something better! I tried to write another sestina, or a pantoum, something high-falutin', something profound that illuminates one of those interstitial emotional moments you can't ever seem to capture in prose, the pang of sadness that hits me when I see too many stuffed animals in a store window and I wonder who's going to love them all, the fear that sometimes grips me on the precipice of sleep that this is it, if I let go I'm going to die. But all I came up with was this couplet:
Every time I walk in the door,
I expect to find the cat dead on the floor.
Which...I don't know. I mean, at least it's a start. Maybe I could flesh it out, right? Maybe I could make something of it. Maybe we could have a new anthology, Best American Neurotic Poems, get another Em Dickinson poem or twelve in there; god knows that chick was crackers. And when you think about it, which poet isn't a total nutball? In a good way, of course; a way that makes them that much more capable of transmuting pain into art; a way that probably means they should up the Klonopin, but whatevs. Listen, Lehman, I think I'm onto something here. I'll expect my royalty check as soon as Scribner says go. And if you could staple my poem back into the Erotic book, I'd be mucho grateful. Thanks.